Painful bladder syndrome, which is also referred to as interstitial cystitis, is a chronic pain condition that involves discomfort originating in the bladder. The term interstitial cystitis is a misnomer. Usually, a condition ending in “-itis” is an infection; however, this condition is not an infection. Painful bladder syndrome is more common in women than in men, affecting 2% to 4% of women in the United States. Symptoms include bladder pain and/or pressure sometimes relieved by urination and varies in severity from patient to patient. Though the underlying cause is unknown, painful bladder syndrome often limits one’s ability to enjoy life and complete daily activities.
Patients with this syndrome complain of a vague, lower abdominal, pain centered over their bladder. Other symptoms and conditions such as urinary tract infections, vaginitis, constipation and more, can cause these same symptoms, which is why it is important to visit with your doctor to get accurate diagnosis and treatment.